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Train help

I'm sorry - I feel I am asking a lot of questions right now, but just a little nervous!

I was playing around on the Renfe sight to see approx time travel between cities. I have read everywhere there we can only book out 62 1/2 days in advance. But just for fun, I entered our date of travel from Madrid to Cordoba for Wednesday, May 27th, and a full list of trains came up. What am I not understanding? Is the 62 1/2 days when they go on a discount? Do discounts apply to 1st class too? I think once I figure out one trip I will understand this a little better.

i have travelled so much, but trains are always my weak spot.

Posted by
20802 posts

Renfe is very inconsistent in when it puts tickets on sale. At the moment, tickets seem to be available through May 31. A lot of the trains have only the full-fare Flexible tickets available. I don't know whether there's a possibility Promo tickets will later show up for those trains, or whether they are already sold out. It seems odd that so many trains would have no Promo tickets available for dates about 4 months in the future.

Posted by
1279 posts

Have you had a read the excellent guide linked below? If nothing else it shows you (and I), are not alone in being confused by certain aspects of Renfe.

In answer to your question "Do discounts apply to 1st class too?", yes on fast/long-distance services there are "promo" and "promo+" fares offered in 1st class, which Renfe calls "preferente".

In answer to your question "What am I not understanding?", don't worry about it. Renfe's approach to posting timetables "passeth all understanding". In your particular example, if you compare 27/5 to next Wednesday, you'll see they've only posted the fast trains, not the stopping ones (not that that matters for your plan). Also, as Acraven points out they've not yet shown the promo fares for some times, but have for others because it's too early to show most fares.

The good news is (a) until Renfe post a service nobody else can buy it either and (b) once over the hurdle of buying a ticket, the actual AVE /AVANT trains are well brilliant (for the passenger anyway, economically they're mainly a disaster).

Posted by
907 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
Can't recommend the seat61 website enough. RENFE is a good introduction to some of the other websites I encountered arranging our trip to Spain last spring. None were as bad or poorly operated as Renfe. You are best served buying your tickets else where.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
14776 posts

Well, that's just one more instance of Renfe being erratic. BTW Renfe doesn't accept most US credit cards but PayPal works well. When I've used it the exchange rates were good and the savings were worth the small fee.

Posted by
8889 posts

Marie, The times being published and tickets being on sale are two different things.

The times are fixed in two 6-month chunks, June to December and December to June. So the times have already been published up to 2nd weekend in June, and sometime in April/May they will publish the times up to 2nd weekend in December.

Tickets are on sale xx days in advance (I believe you if you say xx=~60 for RENFE). For local trains it may be less.